Black August 30, 2010
On March 4, 2010 Sundiata Acoli, who is 73 years old, was denied
parole for the third time by the New Jersey State parole board.
Sundiata has served 37 years in prison as he was convicted in the May
2, 1973 shooting of a New Jersey State Trooper on the NJ Turnpike.
Sundiata was last denied parole in 1994, the parole board continues
to cite among other things, that "He was not rehabilitated." Sundiata
has maintained an infraction free prison record since 1996.
Over a thousand letters and petitions from a diverse group of
influential people, including psychologists, lawyers, clergy,
professors, journalists and community members were sent to the parole
board expressing love from the community and support for his release.
Nevertheless, Sundiata was denied parole just minutes after an in-
person review by two members of the board. No time was taken to
deliberate the decision, and notice of the denial was given to him on
a sheet with barely legible hand-written notes on it. Not only was he
denied but he was told his case would be referred to a 3-member panel
to establish a FET ("hit") outside the guidelines. In mid July,
Sundiata received written notice that a three member panel, two of
which included the two members who denied him, had decided to give
him a 10 year hit which means he must serve an additional 6 years in
prison before he will again be eligible for a parole hearing. He will
be 79 years old.
The "hit" is particularly harsh since on August 1, 2010 a new law was
passed in New Jersey capping to 36 months, the number of years the
parole board can establish a FET. The New Jersey Parole Board rushed
to send this letter to Sundiata to avoid the August 1st deadline. As
of this posting, Sundiata has not yet received any explanation from
the board for this 10 year "hit".
The Sundiata Acoli Freedom Campaign continues to be vigilant in
seeking justice for Sundiata and his right to freedom. Sundiata's
legal advisors have consulted with a NJ attorney to appeal the
decision. The attorney has been retained and has prepared and filed
an administrative appeal to the NJ Parole Board outlining in very
clear terms, the errors made by the panel in denying Sundiata's
parole. The appeal was filed on August 27, 2010.
We believe the case for appealing the NJ Parole Board's decision is
strong! SAFC will continue to keep pushing for Sundiata's release and
raising awareness about his case. Members of SAFC are available to
speak and share information with any group who requests it. Simply
Sundiata needs your love and support and SAFC needs to raise funds to
cover Sundiata's legal expenses. Regular commissary donations to keep
Sundiata smiling and knowing he is loved are also encouraged. We
understand the financial limitations of people during these times and
we appreciate anything you can give.
Please take a moment and give what you can to support his release:
To make a contribution to Sundiata's legal expenses, please send a
check or money order payable to SAFC:
PO BOX 766
New York, New York 10027
Please be sure to note in the memo field that your check is for Legal Fees
To send money directly to Sundiata's commissary send money orders
only made out to:
Clark Squire #39794-066 and mail to:
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Clark Squire #39794-066
Post Office Box 474701
Des Moines, Iowa 50947-0001
Do not send a note with your money order or it will be returned.
Commissary donations can also be made online or by phone using a
debit or credit card through Western Union Quick Collect. For more
instructions on that just email mailto:email@example.com .
To send Sundiata a card, a photo, a poem, artwork or just a simple
letter saying you are thinking about him, write him:
Sundiata Acoli #39794-066 (Squire)
PO Box 3000
Otisville, NY 10963-1000
Any one of these things is a great way to show your love and support.
Thank you in advance!
A message from Sundiata to his supporters: